Writer: Sean Park
Designer: Jericho Krueger
The BCIT Student Association (BCITSA) Career Services held a Tech Career Fair. Students and alumni met one-on-one with recruiters from the tech industry, learned more about the most up-to-date industry insights, and found ways to improve their résumés. The event ran at the Tech Collider in the BCIT Downtown Campus on October 3rd 2023.
What is a Tech Collider?
The Tech Collider is a multi-purpose learning and event space where technology, as the name implies, collides with the community. Here, students can interact with employers and vice versa using the enormous audio-visual screens, industry-friendly project rooms, and the tech café. It is a friendly environment with spaces for collaboration, mobile and flexible furnishings, and access to equipment to showcase students’ projects.
Around 500 students attended the Tech Collider to interact with ten recruiters and connect with peers. This year’s career fair saw over 100 more students attend compared to last year, hoping to address their concerns about the massive tech-related layoffs that happened in early 2023.
Despite the layoffs, there has been an enormous increase in the professional, scientific and technical services sectors within British Columbia. According to Statistics Canada, these sectors have seen a 54.8% growth in employment between 2012 and 2022. The employers that showed up to the event reflected that as well. Even though six fewer employers showed up compared to last year, Marcus Tang, one of the career specialists, said they are still “dedicated to BCIT students and have those opportunities that are going to help them grow and break into the industry.” BCIT students, known for their solid IT skills, are still in demand.
What did an employer have to say?
GeoComply, a cybersecurity solutions firm, was one of the ten employers present to engage with students. Eleanor Hawkins, a recruiter at GeoComply, said that “BCIT is one of [their] favourite places to hire from.” Even though there were layoffs in the tech industry earlier this year, she reassured students that getting a rejection letter is not the end of the world. According to Hawkins, “hiring is an extremely random process. It’s all about timing.” She advised students to try out various things and have a lot of empathy for themselves.
What did a student have to say?
The consensus among students was that they entered the fair a little worried while feeling eager to meet the employers. They wanted to get a foot into the industry to start their career and showcase their skills. At the event, many students felt satisfied to learn more about the hiring process.
Stephane Lubendo, a Computer Science student at BCIT, said he was content to participate, interact, and learn more from the event. He said that he applied to a lot of places prior to the fair, but only heard back from one. However, Lubendo did say that “BCIT does a good job prepping students, so [he does] believe [they’ll] all get hired down the line. The only thing is making sure that [students] do [their] due diligence so [they’re] one of the first ones hired.” He recommended other students visit a tech fair like this and be proactive.
Lubendo and many other students were grateful for the opportunity that the BCITSA Career Services team shared with them. From receiving feedback on their résumés to building networks and gaining industry insights, students left the event feeling optimistic.